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(NY) Lottery says it goofed: Mahopac winner got $31 million after taxes
A Follow Up to the Story Below This One)



(Original publication: November 16, 2007)

The New York State Lottery has acknowledged that it made a $14 million mistake when it announced the amount of last week's Mega Millions award to a Putnam County man at Grand Central Terminal.

The winning ticket bought by William James Albertson from Mahopac actually brought him an after-tax prize of $30.7 million. At the big announcement, presided over by Lottery Director Gordon Medenica and Lottery announcers Yolanda Vega and Ralph Buckley, Lottery staff told reporters that Albertson would receive slightly more than $45 million once taxes were deducted. Lottery officials continued to insist that was the correct amount even after The Journal News questioned the accuracy of that figure later that day and again Tuesday morning.

"It's a simple discrepancy," Lottery spokesman John Charlson said this week.

The Lottery did tell Albertson that he would get $14 million less than the announced lump-sum figure, Charlson said. Albertson could not be contacted yesterday. Charlson said the mistake was made when someone in his office prepared a news release and the error was then picked up by others on the Lottery staff. When the figure was questioned by a reporter, Charlson said he may have simply checked the news release.

Charlson said the lottery usually touts the larger payout that could be received over 25 years rather than the immediate cash value because winners have the option of allowing New York State to invest their winnings for them. In this case, the "jackpot prize" is considered $75 million.

One local economist takes issue with this.

Farrokh Hormozi, an economics professor at Pace University in White Plains, said it was more accurate to describe the prize money in terms of what it is worth today because even a low inflation rate will dramatically reduce the value of money one or two decades in the future.

"The old saying of a bird in hand is worth two in the bush applies here," Hormozi said.

Lottery prize winners do not need New York state to invest their winnings to produce the kind of payout the state talks about, Hormozi said. The most conservative investment - U.S. Treasury Bonds -have reliably produced 4 percent annual returns, the same interest figure that the Lottery uses to produce the long-term value of its prizes.

A slightly more risky investment strategy would produce a bigger return than is possible by taking the long-term payout.

Hormozi said lotteries describe their jackpots in terms the longer term value because the talk of huge prizes drives people to buy lottery tickets.

"When the prizes rise, you see people standing in long lines for hours, people who would never go to the lottery," Hormozi said. "You have to make this so attractive and the stakes high so that they will participate."

The Red Mill Market in Mahopac Falls, where Albertson purchased the winning ticket, is festooned with posters that say the $75 million Mega Millions ticket was sold there.

Store manager Nick Capalbo said yesterday that he was surprised to hear Albertson had won $30.7 million after taxes, especially with all the signs proclaiming the higher amount. Capalbo, an education student at Pace University, said the $45 million lump-sum prize value seemed to be a more accurate way to describe the winnings.

Though the Lottery might be guilty of a little verbal manipulation, Capalbo said, $30.7 million is still a lot of money. "I'd be happy with $30 million," he said. "When you are talking about that much, it's a lot of money."

Lotto Report Note:
I notified the media about the prize payout quoted by the New York Lottery in the below story.
The story that you just read is the result of my telling the press what the correct amount was.

It's Mega smiles for Mahopac lottery winner

November 10, 2007

William James Albertson held his 5-month-old baby as he checked the numbers on his Mega Millions lottery ticket with those on the computer screen Sunday morning. The first two matched. So did the second pair. Then, as Albertson sat at the computer in his Mahopac home, the unthinkable happened.

"I kept looking at it and they all matched, so that's when I got a little shaky," the 35-year-old insurance manager recalled.

The shakes were gone yesterday, when Albertson was revealed as the $75 million winner of the latest Mega Millions jackpot, the multistate lottery game, at a news conference at Grand Central Terminal. He was one of three winners with ties to the Lower Hudson Valley announced.

"I've got a lot of college to pay for," said Albertson, the father of four, when asked the inevitable question of how he planned to spend the money.

The after-tax payout Albertson is to receive shortly totals slightly more than $45 million, according to the New York Lottery. That is perhaps enough for Albertson to purchase a small, rural college campus for his children, who are from 5 months to 11 years old. It was only the second time that Albertson - known as WJ to friends - had played the lottery. An Illinois native who moved to Mahopac in 2005, Albertson first tried his luck the previous Monday. His modest gambling spree was inspired by the visit of his father, who had bought a lottery ticket in each state on his way to New York.

(The BEFORE tax payout was an estimated $45,072,150 - the amount in the prize pool for the winner was $45,383,878.
The states keeps the differences. After minimum taxes, they couple will see an estimated $33,804,112.)

When prompted to reveal more plans for his riches, Albertson said he would like to retire early, but made it clear his family was not planning a spending spree or any drastic changes soon.

"No plans at this point, just trying to keep things as normal as possible for the kids," Albertson said.

Even a trip to Florida that Albertson; his wife, Crista; and children will soon take has been in the works since February.

It was Crista whom Albertson woke at 7:30 a.m. to make sure he had read his ticket and computer screen correctly.

"I said, 'I hate to wake you up, but you better come look at this,'" recalled Albertson, who bought the ticket at the Red Mills Market in Mahopac Falls.

The announcement of the winners was hosted by actor and Lottery pitchman Ralph Buckley and Yolanda Vega, whose melodious voice intones the winning numbers of each night's Lottery drawing.

The other Lower Hudson Valley winners were Arif Darwin, 41, a Woodside, Queens, resident and employee at Skyline Construction in Yonkers, who won $1 million; and Samuel Carcova, 52, the Cortlandt highway superintendent, who won $250,000. Both said they planned to put their money toward their children's college education.

"We have two in college now. It's a big weight off my shoulders," Carcova said.

"It's perfect timing," added his wife, Rebecca.

The winning numbers were 02-08-44-46-51 Bonus 22.

$26 Million Claimed By Central Texas Legal Entity

Trinity RC, Ltd, by Trinity RC Management, LLC, General Partner, Raymond Carter Farrar, President, of Waco, has claimed the $26 million Lotto Texas jackpot from the drawing on September 15 at Texas Lottery headquarters in Austin. The claim was made on Sept 28, 2007 but the date of the press release was Oct. 2, 2007.

The ticket was a Quick Pick and carried the Cash Value Option, which makes the final claimed prize $16,139,785.27, before taxes.

After taxes, minimum 25%, the amount would have been $12,104,838.

The ticket was purchased at Cefco Food Store #33, 600 West McGregor Drive, in McGregor. The store is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent of the jackpot for selling the ticket. The bonus amount comes to $263,415.09.

Farrar requested minimal publicity.

Valley woman cleans up in lottery (Mega Millions)
After playing for years, the woman hits the Mega Millions jackpot. The take: $60 million.

Los Angeles Times - By Stuart Silverstein
September 28, 2007

Zorina Kroop, a businesswoman who helped build up a thriving overnight janitorial service over the past 27 years, cleaned up somewhere new this week: the lottery.

The 63-year-old Sherman Oaks resident will be announced today by California Lottery officials as the winner of a $60-million Mega Millions jackpot.

Kroop found out that she was the big winner in the multi-state game late Wednesday when she dropped by the 7-Eleven store where for years she has bought lottery tickets twice a week. After scanning her ticket and learning she had won money, Kroop asked the store manager to verify her earnings. The answer came quickly: "He said, 'Sit down. You just won the Mega, $60 million.' And I said, 'You're joking!' "

"I was stunned," Kroop said. "I had to take a tranquilizer, because I was getting palpitations already, I was so excited."

When she woke up Thursday morning, Kroop said, her dog, a Chihuahua, "was sleeping next to me, and I looked at her and I said, 'Chaiya, we're millionaires!' "

Partly to settle her nerves, Kroop went grocery shopping with a cousin Thursday. And Kroop soon decided she could spend her money a little more freely than usual. "I said, 'You know what, I'm not getting the discount plastic bags.' "

Kroop plans to use some of her winnings to hire registered nurses to provide around-the-clock care for her elderly mother, who suffers from dementia and paralysis and is living in a convalescent home. She also plans to pay for her uncle and aunt to live in an assisted-living home.

In addition, Kroop said she will give money to charities that aid research into pediatric AIDS and pancreatic cancer, the disease that took her husband's life more than a quarter-century ago.

But the British-born Kroop, many of whose relatives fled the Nazis in Europe during World War II, also plans to enjoy her money, which she will take in a lump sum of slightly more than $30 million. "I'm going to party. I'm going to see my family in Israel, my family in New York, my family in London, and I'm going to the Greek isles, which has been a dream of mine," she said.

"I'm very, very grateful. This is a wonderful country. Money does grow on trees."


- Message from Dawn Nettles - The Lotto Report -

There was a Texas Mega Millions winner from the Aug 31, 2007 drawing (advertised at $330 million/ four winning tickets in all) that has NOT come forward to claim their winnings. Seems strange that all the other winners have already collected. In addition, there is a Lotto Texas Terrell winner from last April that has failed to collect too. One has to wonder, have these players failed to check their own tickets? Did they take them to have them scanned and the terminals erred in telling them that they won? Did these tickets "really" exist in the first place? Let's hope that these winners come forward.

Office pool makes big Powerball splash
Bardstown's 'Nukote 22' claim lottery's $61.5 million jackpot

The Courier-Journal, By Sara Cunningham
September 28, 2007

After a decade of pitching in a dollar a week, a Powerball office pool paid off in a huge way yesterday for 22 Kentuckians. The group of current and former employees of a Bardstown business claimed the $61.5 million Powerball jackpot yesterday afternoon after making their way to Louisville in a white SUV limousine.

When a lady at the lottery claim window asked Jane Shelver if she could help her with something, Shelver's response came quickly and enthusiastically. "You certainly can," Shelver said as she handed over the winning ticket on behalf the group being called "The Nukote 22." Nukote International produces imaging supplies like paper and laser toner, according to the company's Web site.

Each member's share will be about $894,000 after taxes, if they take the cash option, said Chip Polston, lottery spokesman. The group, which always let the computer select its numbers, is the state's first Powerball winner in four years, according to the lottery. Their winning numbers were 25, 27, 31, 44 and 54, with a Powerball of 8.

Shelver said some people in the group had already decided to take the cash option for the jackpot, which lottery officials said will end up being $28.5 million before taxes.

The lottery announced earlier in the day that the winning ticket was sold Monday at a Five Star Food Mart in Bardstown, but the winners weren't confirmed until the Nukote group arrived at the Louisville headquarters and the ticket passed through security checks.

The group includes people who work in Nukote's customer-service call center and accounts-receivable department, said Bonnie Bullock, a company supervisor and a member of the winning lottery pool. They also included several laid-off workers who chose not to move when their jobs were relocated to other cities this summer, Bullock said.

Because the Powerball pool had been paid several weeks ahead, the winning ticket included some of the former employees, said ex-employee Mike Willett, one of the winners, during a group news conference yesterday at the lottery's headquarters on Main Street.

"This was my last time pitching in, so I'm certainly happy," said Willett, who recently took a job with a different company. "This couldn't have happened to a nicer group."

Not everyone got to go to Louisville in the limousine to claim the money.

Bullock and another winner stayed behind in Bardstown yesterday to answer phones and fill in for the rest of the people who traveled to Louisville.

"I've never worked so hard in my life," Bullock said during a phone interview. "But it's worth it. We even had a third person volunteer to come in and help fill in."

Many in the group said they would use the money to pay bills and help send their children to college. But no one was talking about quitting their jobs yesterday.

Janet Adams, one of the winners, said she has two children and her husband was recently injured, so the money will help the family a lot. Kathy Graham, another winner, said she and her husband were supposed to go to lunch together to celebrate their wedding anniversary. "I came here instead, of course," Graham said, laughing. "This is quite an anniversary present."

It's too soon for some to know how they'll spend the money, Shelver said.

"Today has been a rollercoaster, and I think it will take a while for it to sink in," she said.

Shelver's morning began with an early call from one of the pool members.

Connie Mattingly, a former Nukote employee who now has a different job, said she was the first to realize the group had won.

"I was getting ready for work, and I heard on the news that the winning ticket had been sold in Nelson County," Mattingly said. "Jane (Shelver) e-mails me our numbers, so I got (online) and saw the top line. I never got any further than that."

Mattingly called Shelver, who was so excited she hung up on Mattingly, both women said.

From there, the news spread quickly, Shelver said. Soon the rest of the pool knew, then the rest of the Bardstown office, including one co-worker who had always refused to participate over the years, she said. "I think she's happy for us though," Shelver said.

The Nukote 22 were the lottery's 15th Powerball winners, and the first Kentucky winners in four years, said Arch Gleason, the president and CEO.

The last winning Powerball ticket in Kentucky was sold in July 2003 at a Hillview convenience story to Jeanie Osborne of Bullitt County. That jackpot was $13.5 million.

In 2000, a Newport, Ky., couple, Virginia Metcalf Merida and Mack Wayne Metcalf, won a $65.4 million Powerball jackpot after buying a $3 ticket at a Florence truck stop.

In April 1994, a resident of Bloomfield, Ky., Brenda Knopp, won a $64.2 million Powerball jackpot. She bought her winning ticket at Bart's Mart in Bloomfield, about 15 miles from Bardstown.

The store in Bardstown that sold the winning ticket will get a selling bonus of $44,000 but the state does not reap any extra benefits, Polston said. Funds raised by the lottery always go to support need-based and merit-based scholarships to Kentucky students, he said. During the past two years, the lottery has provided an average of $200 million a year to these scholarships, Polston said.

Lottery officials were excited that the jackpot will be shared this time around, Gleason said. "It really does spread the wealth around," he told the group during the news conference.

In Bardstown, Bullock said it was still a little hard to believe that after 10 years, the group had finally won. "It just goes to show you that it can happen," she said.

Two brothers to split $82 million lottery winnings
(Advertised $330M Mega Millions Jackpot)
By Rob Richardson, NBC12 News

Two Virginia brothers are now $82 million richer. It’s the second-largest jackpot in the Mega Millions lottery’s history. Thursday morning Bernard and Tucker Adcock came forward to claim their share.

Amid some intense speculation in the last ten days, the two brothers — one from Appomattox, the other from Buckingham County — stepped forward Thursday morning to acknowledge their winnings.

On Saturday, September 1, one day after the Mega Millions drawing that produced four winning tickets for a $330 million pot, a nervous Tucker Adcock went to find his brother.

“We got outside there, he said, ‘I think we got a problem, man. Look at these numbers,’” Bernard said. “And I looked at them numbers and went holy —, and he said, ‘What we going to do now? And I told him, ‘I really don’t know.’”

The brothers often buy tickets together. Tucker usually picks the numbers and gets the tickets at Duck’s Corner on Route 60 in Buckingham. The winning numbers, the brothers said, had no special meaning and were sort of picked by accident.

“The first set of numbers were picked by the Easy Pick, and none of them came out that week, and two weeks later he decided to play those numbers again because he was in a hurry to get home,” Tucker said. “And so he ran those numbers back through.”

Bernard, the younger brother, is a retired prison worker. Until last week, Tucker worked for Buckingham County, monitoring one of the county’s recycling centers. Carolyn Amos was his boss for four years.

“We’re happy because it’s somebody won that didn’t have a lot,” she said. “Tucker’s had to struggle for years, and now he don’t have to struggle anymore. And i just think that’s wonderful.”

Rather than a lump sum, the Adcocks chose annual payments of $3.1 million before taxes. Tucker bought a new pickup. The brothers promise not to let the money change them.

“Right now, nothing’s going to change,” Tucker said. “You know, we both were making it okay before we hit the lottery, and we’re going to take our time, make sure we get some good investments and good financial advice. So at the present time I can’t see anything changing.”

Two other winners previously claimed their shares of the $330 million total jackpot, while a fourth has yet to come forward.

Lottery confirms ticket holder's winnings
Dundalk man will take lump sum of his share of Mega Millions
(Advertised $330M Mega Millions Jackpot)

Baltimore Sun, By Nicole Fuller

September 4, 2007 - Bunky has officially claimed his bread. Ellwood August Bartlett, the Dundalk man known as "Bunky," walked into the Baltimore headquarters of the Maryland State Lottery this afternoon to validate his winning $330 million Mega Millions ticket, which will be split among four winners.

"This is Bunky Bartlett, our new Mega Millions winner," lottery director Buddy W. Roogow announced at a news conference. Bartlett was the sole jackpot winner in the state. Three other winning tickets were purchased in New Jersey, Virginia and Texas.

Bartlett announced over the weekend that he had a winning ticket, which he says his wife, Denise, bought at Walther Liquors in Nottingham. Bartlett handed over the ticket to lottery officials, and in seconds the machine validated it. Just one problem: Bartlett left his license and Social Security card outside in his car.

"We know who he is," Roogow said, laughing. (Bartlett later produced his identification.)

Bartlett, 40, declared his intent to take a lump sum of about $48.6 million, or $32.6 million after taxes, rather than an annuity, which would pay him $3.7 million a year until 2032. Lottery officials said Bartlett would receive a check in seven to 10 days.

He said he won't live extravagantly. He'll still shop at Wal-Mart and eat at McDonald's, Bartlett said, and he has no plans to give away the money outside of family.

The Wicca devotee has also said he wants to help improve a New Age gift shop he considers his spiritual home and to focus on teaching. Wicca is a nature-based religion.

Bartlett, flanked by his son, Ryan, 21, and daughter, Ashley, 18, was calm about his huge windfall, but he acknowledged his excitement when the lottery was drawn.

"When we read off the numbers, I did scream a little and I did tear up," Bartlett said.

Retired auto worker, 2 adult children
claim $314 million Powerball jackpot

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A retired auto worker and his two adult children claimed a $314 million Powerball jackpot Monday, Sept 11, 2007 after waiting two weeks to step forward.

"I know the world is going to turn upside down," said David Coterel, 65, of Riverside, Ohio. Coterel's daughter, Lynn Hiles, 46, said she has quit her job as a postal worker in Dayton, Ohio. Her 42-year-old brother, David Coterel, recently took a buyout from his job at an auto parts plant.

Neither has any children, and their mother, Dorothy, died of cancer three years ago.

The family decided to take the cash option on the prize from the Aug. 25 drawing, meaning they will collect $145,985,099 before taxes, Hoosier Lottery executive director Kathryn Densborn said.

The elder Coterel, 65, who is retired from General Motors, bought the quick-pick ticket the afternoon of the drawing.

"I lost it," he said of learning he had the winning ticket. "I'm an emotional person, but I really lost it."

The winning ticket bearing the numbers 2, 8, 23, 29, 35 and Powerball 19 was bought at a Speedway convenience store in Richmond, along the Indiana-Ohio state line about 100 kilometres east of Indianapolis.

The store where the winning ticket was sold is about five kilometres on U.S. 40 from another Speedway store that sold the winning ticket for a $295.7 million Powerball jackpot to a group of 13 co-workers from a factory in suburban Columbus, Ohio, in July 1998.

The 1998 jackpot was the largest of its kind to that point. Last month's jackpot is the fourth-largest in the 22-year history of the multistate Powerball game.
Powerball is played in 29 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The record jackpot was $365 million won by eight workers at a Nebraska meatpacking plant in February 2006.

Belawskys Claim $82M Lottery Prize
(Advertised $330M Mega Millions Jackpot)

Cape May Herald
September 7, 2007

TRENTON — Villas residents Sandra and John Belawsky today claimed their portion of the near-record $330 million jackpot from the MEGA MILLIONS drawing held on Aug, 31, 2007. They chose the cash option, to receive $48,615,187 before the 25 percent federal withholding tax. The Belawskys went to Lottery Headquarters to stake their claim to one of the largest lottery jackpots in North American history.

“Congratulations to the Belawskys, the winners of this incredible jackpot,” said William T. Jourdain, acting executive director of the New Jersey Lottery.

The Belawskys purchased their winning ticket on Aug. 30 at Blitz ' s “Hole in the Wall” Villas Market, 902 Bayshore Avenue, Villas.

The tickets were a natural selection. The winning numbers were: 08, 18, 22, 40 and 44, and the Gold Mega Ball number was 11.

The Belawskys are lifelong residents of New Jersey, and relocated to Cape May County in 1999.

“We feel very, very lucky,” said John, in a release. He bought the winning ticket. “It’s amazing what can happen when you stop to pick up a newspaper and a few tickets.”

John is a disabled veteran with over 20 years experience in auto finance and banking; Sandra’s prior career was also in banking. Both have been retired for several years, and have enjoyed the quiet life in Cape May County.

When he found out that he possessed one of the winning tickets in this massive jackpot, Mr. Belawsky’s surprise was overwhelming: “I checked the last number twice, and thought about waking Sandy up to tell her we won. I decided to let her sleep, and that was probably a good idea - neither one of has really had a good night’s sleep since. It’ s been exciting and memorable-and it’s still hard to believe we won."

Mr. Belawsky explained his delay in stepping forward, " I think it took us both a while just to let the fact that we won sink in. After that, we signed the ticket and put it into a safe place and started thinking about the future. We talked with some financial professionals - with our backgrounds in banking, we’re pretty good with money, but when you’ re talking $48 million ... well it doesn’t hurt to have an expert opinion or two.”

Acting Executive Director Jourdain stated, “John and Sandra did everything right that you could ask of a winner in a big jackpot-they signed their ticket, put it in a safe place, and then sought professional financial help. Those are the steps we love to see our winners take before they come forward.”

“In a lot of ways, we’re still in disbelief, " said John Belawsky, “I know this means that our golden years can officially be golden, but past that, Sandy and I are still sorting all of this out-we have some ideas about what we want to do with this big win, but haven't made any big decisions yet.”

This prize amount is one-fourth of the second-largest jackpot in the history of Mega Millions, a remarkable $330,000,000. The largest, single-ticket win in the New Jersey Lottery ' s 36-year history, however, was Harold and Helen Lerner, who were sole winners of a Mega Millions jackpot of $258 million on Sept. 16, 2005.

Two More Winners in $330M Jackpot

Associated Press
September 7, 2007

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A disabled veteran let his wife sleep in after learning they will share a multimillion lottery prize. Then he bought himself a new pair of pants.

"It's amazing what can happen when you stop to pick up a newspaper and a few tickets," John Belawsky said Friday when he and his wife, Sandra, were introduced among the latest winners in the multistate game.

The retired Cape May County couple had one of four winning tickets from last week's $330 million Mega Millions jackpot — the second largest in the game's history. Elwood "Bunky" Bartlett, who teaches Wicca in Maryland, said Sunday he, too, was a winner.

The other winning tickets were sold in Texas and Virginia.

Belawsky, 59, said his surprise at learning he had the winning ticket was overwhelming.

"I checked the last number twice, and thought about waking Sandy up to tell her we won," he said of the Aug. 31 drawing. "I decided to let her sleep, and that was probably a good idea. Neither one of us has really had a good night's sleep since."

So, what was the first thing John Belawsky did with the winnings? Buy a new pair of pants to wear to Friday's news conference.

Opting to take the one-time cash option, the Belawskys will receive about $48.6 million before paying a 25 percent federal withholding tax, lottery officials said.

John Belawsky bought the ticket at Blitz's Villas Market in the town of Villas.

Lottery officials said John is a disabled veteran with over 20 years experience in auto finance and banking. His 49-year-old wife also worked in banking.

It's the second time a winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased in Cape May County. A winning ticket for Mega Millions' biggest jackpot ever — $390 million in March — was sold at Campark Liquors in Woodbine.

Las Colinas Lottery Group Trust Claims $7 Million
25 Pool Players Forced To Form Trust In Order To Collect - An Unnecessary Hardship!
The Texas Lottery Refuses To Accept IRS Form 5754
(May 23rd Lotto Texas Jackpot)

: As of 6/25/07, the TLC will now accept IRS Form 5754 from pool players.
However, staff did not provide details during the open meeting as to the "conditions"
to which they would accept the form. Stay tuned ...

(Comments in italics by Dawn Nettles - The Lotto Report)

June 22, 2007 - After playing patiently for 18 months, three of the 25 members of the Las Colinas Lottery Group Trust today made a long-awaited trip to Austin.

No, it wasn’t a field trip to the state capitol; it was an eagerly-anticipated visit to Texas Lottery headquarters, where various members of the trust as representatives of the whole, claimed the advertised $12 million Lotto Texas jackpot for May 23.

The Cash Value Option prize totaled $7,067,548.80, before taxes.

After minimum taxes, the group (25 players) should have divided $5,300,661.60 - meaning each player would receive $212,026. However, because the TLC refuses to accept IRS Form 5754, these poor people were out the expense of attorney's to prepare the paper work (trusts) for tax and gift tax reasons.

From the states point of view, it lost the opportunity to collect any back child support, taxes and student loans if any had been owed.

Last year, only 3 states refused to accept IRS 5754 - Wisconsin, Georgia and Texas - although the Georgia Legislature had proposed legislation to force the GA Lottery to accept this form from pool winners. The outcome of the proposed legislation is unknown at this time.

“We’ve been playing for 18 months, and we wouldn’t have been playing if we didn’t think we could win,” said Damon Sawyer, group member. “We’ve won small prizes before, but that’s all.”

The group began with a core of four members, all of whom are employees of AT&T in Las Colinas, where almost all the rest of the members also met. Each player puts $20 every month in the pool, and the money is evenly divided between purchases of Lotto Texas and Mega Millions tickets.

The first four players each chose 25 sets of numbers that the entire group still plays. These sets of self-selected numbers held the combination that was drawn on May 23. Those were 1-3-13-14-22-52.

When the e-mail went out among group members that one of their tickets had matched the numbers drawn, only a few were willing to believe it was true.

“I’d been at the office since 6 a.m. and just back from Florida, so I wasn’t in the mood to kid around,” said Aurora Hobbs, who had joined the group in mid-May. “It wasn’t until noon that I finally believed it. They finally did right by me and let me join the group, and as soon as I did, we won.”

Hobbs had been asking her co-workers to let her join the group for several months, but had been turned down only because the group was getting too large.

“We finally let her in because we figured if we had another person, we could buy more chances to win the jackpot,” Sawyer said. “Also, a couple of people got out just before this drawing.”

“The popularity of pooling money among our players to buy more tickets for a drawing has never decreased, most especially among Lotto Texas players,” said Texas Lottery Commission Executive Director Anthony J. Sadberry. “This also is the kind of thing that inspires others to form groups.” (In Texas, players should not pool their money because Texas places a tremendous financial hardship on players should they win - as in this case. This is because Texas currently refuses to accept IRS Form 5754. Update: As of 6/25/07, the TLC will now accept IRS Form 5754 from pool players. However, staff did not provide details during the open meeting as to the "conditions" to which they would accept the form. Stay tuned ...)

Another group member, Bethurel Griffin, will have a sweet return from his tour of duty in Iraq, where he’s been since June of last year. He will collect his share next week when his tour ends.

For one member whose name is not being released, the prize could not have come at a better time. He was diagnosed with brain cancer weeks ago and will use the money for medical and family expenses.

John Tomlinson will use his share to save for retirement.

Other group members have had their very recent retirements from the company made that much better by their share of the prize, too.
Sawyer says he’s going to buy a new car and save the rest for the family he and his wife are planning. Hobbs is going to pay her bills, invest the rest and live debt-free.

“We’re going to keep playing,” Sawyer said. “We’ve got our 10-play for tonight’s Mega Millions and tomorrow’s Lotto.

One group member who declined publicity is in charge of purchasing the tickets and holding on to them. He bought the tickets for the group at the Ector Drive One Shop, located at 101 South Ector Drive in Euless. The store is eligible to receive a bonus of $120,000 for having sold this ticket.

This retail location is also new to this area, having opened recently.

Some of the remaining members of Las Colinas Lottery Group Trust declined publicity, while others were unable to take time off. Those who were present in Austin today left their homes in the metroplex area at approximately 3:30 a.m., they said.

The winner was represented by Bank of Texas.

- Special Message From Dawn Nettles -
Last Oct 18, 2006, I attended the Commisson Meeting in Austin and specifically brought up the issue of the TLC's refusal to accept IRS 5754 to the Commissioners. It's a shame they failed to act on my suggestion at that time as it placed a hardship on these players. To read what I said, click here - then either scroll down to page 106 or type "5754" by using "Find" in your browser - to see what I said.

Limited partnership keeps lid on big Lotto win
$75 million won in League City
The Houston Chronicle - by RUTH RENDON

LEAGUE CITY — A business partnership claimed the $75 million Lotto Texas jackpot won earlier this month. Panjo Investments Ltd. claimed the April 7 jackpot, Texas Lottery Commission spokeswoman Leticia Vasquez said Thursday. The winning ticket was a quick pick, meaning a computer chose the numbers. The winner chose the cash-value option amount of $45,014,921. The $75 million jackpot was the largest for the Texas Lottery in the past 2 1/2 years.

John Stanford Jr., president of Tremarcor LLC, purchased the single winning ticket. Tremarcor is a general business partner of Panjo Investments Ltd., Vasquez said. Panjo Investments, as the winner, requested minimal publicity, she said.

"This is one of those cases when someone comes in and doesn't even want to talk to us. It's a partnership inside the corporation," she said.

Vasquez said the only information the Lottery Commission can release when a winner requests minimal publicity is the winner's name and the city where he resides. Stanford does not have a listed telephone number.

Lottery jackpot winners forming corporations is not new, Vasquez said.

"People do that for a variety of reasons," she said. "Most of them have to do with ensuring that they get the biggest bang for their buck over the longest period of time.

"Basically, they are just trying to take care of their money by claiming it through a partnership, rather than claiming such a huge prize as an individual."

The winning ticket was purchased at the Quick Mart at 2100 Marina Bay Drive in League City. The convenience store, as the seller of the winning ticket, is eligible to receive $500,000. That is the maximum retailer bonus for selling the winning Lotto Texas ticket.

Second Mega Millions Winner Comes Forward
Associated Press
Monday, March 19, 2007

A New Jersey couple claimed half of the record $390 million Mega Millions jackpot on Monday and said they are retired, effective immediately.
Elaine and Harold Messner chose the cash option for the prize from the March 6 drawing in the multistate game. They will receive $116,557,083 before the 25 percent federal withholding tax.

The New Jersey Lottery identified them only as being from Cape May County, at the state's southern tip.

"We feel very fortunate and blessed," Harold Messner said in a statement issued by the Lottery. "This is that early retirement we've always dreamed of. Now we can do all those things we said we would do once we retired."

A truck driver in Georgia had the other winning ticket and claimed it within hours of the drawing.

Messner said he and his wife didn't sleep for the rest of the night after they realized the ticket he had purchased at a liquor store in Woodbine had all the winning numbers.

The couple said they wanted to talk to a financial adviser before coming forward.

Milwaukie Man Claims $182.7 Million Powerball jackpot
The Oregonian
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland General Electric worker stepped forward Monday to claim the $182.7 million Powerball jackpot, Oregon Lottery officials said. Daniel Gannon, 60, of Milwaukie matched all five numbers (7-17-44-47-54) and the Powerball number of 3 in Saturday's multistate lottery game.

Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann said Gannon elected to take a lump sum rather than 30 annual payments. He will get about $59 million after taxes, Baumann said.

Gannon bought the ticket at a Safeway grocery store in Milwaukie, southeast of Portland. Gannon said he and his wife, Candy, were on their way to dinner and stopped at the store to use the ATM machine. After getting his money, Gannon noticed the size of the Powerball jackpot.

"Put $5 down on a quick pick, and learned the good news Sunday morning," Gannon said in an audio clip on the lottery's Web site.

Gannon, who has been with PGE for 35 years, said he plans to use the money to travel.

"We have children all over the United States and I've been interested in going to Ireland," he said.

Baumann said Gannon showed up at the lottery office in Salem, collected his winnings and left without giving interviews or allowing his photo to be taken. "I told him, 'People want to know about you.' But he said, 'I just don't want my face out there.'

"He was a nice guy about it; he was just camera shy," Baumann said.

Under state law, the lottery can disclose a winner's name, hometown, prize amount and place where the winning ticket was purchased, but can't insist that the winner give interviews or submit to a photo.

Baumann said Safeway will get $100,000 for selling the winning ticket.

Mega Millions Winner Has Date With Fishing Pole

(AP) A Georgia truck driver stepped forward Wednesday to claim half of a $390 million jackpot, the richest lottery prize in U.S. history.

"I'm going to do a lot of fishing," Ed Nabors, 52, of Rocky Face, Ga., about 90 miles north of Atlanta, said in a deep Southern drawl.

The other winning ticket in Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing was sold at a liquor store in New Jersey, and the holder did not immediately come forward.

Nabors bought his ticket when he stopped in for his weekly cup of coffee at a gas station convenience store in Dalton - the self-proclaimed "Carpet Capital of the World" - near a carpet mill run by his employer, Mohawk Industries.

He said he didn't learn he had won until 9 a.m. - about 10 hours after the numbers were announced - when his co-workers told them that someone bought the winning ticket in Dalton.

"I'm still numb," he said.

He elected to take his winnings in a lump sum instead of annual installments, and will get $116.5 million before taxes, or more than $80 million after.

Nabors said he wants to buy a house for his daughter, who has wanted to move out of her mobile home for a long time, and plans to keep working - "at least two more days."

Nabors' mother, Doris, said the whole family was in shock. "We just can't believe it. He was shaking so hard they sent him home from work," she said from the door of the rural home she shares with her son. An American flag waved over a patch of daffodils, and a small camper and fishing boat were parked outside.

The winning numbers were announced Tuesday night in Times Square in New York. Even though the temperature was just 16 degrees, a few hopefuls showed up to watch the drawing.

The winning numbers were 16-22-29-39-42 Bonus 20. The odds of hitting the winning combination: 1 in 176 million.

Amarillo Partnership Claims Whopping $122 Million Prize

Feb 1, 2007 – “The family that plays together can claim together” might be an appropriate slogan for the members of the Crump, Allen & Lewis General Partnership, Ronald Crump, general partner, of Amarillo, that claimed the January 9 $122 million Mega Millions jackpot.

Ronald Crump, as well as his wife, Clara; Donald Crump; Kenneth Crump and his wife, Peggy; Kelvin Allen and his wife, Cindy Crump Allen; Dean Crump and his wife, Nicki; and Rita and Gary Lewis are all clearly related, at least by marriage, if not by blood.

Together, they have been playing Texas Lottery games for nearly 15 years, and today the legal entity they formed claimed the $122 million prize they won playing Mega Millions. The Cash Value Option amount of the advertised jackpot is $73,572,690 and the largest Mega Millions prize ever claimed here.

The morning after the drawing, Ronald Crump was reading his local newspaper and checked the numbers on the two Mega Millions Quick Pick tickets he had purchased.

“For some reason, the paper did not have the Mega Ball number, so I called the 800-number at the Lottery to get the information,” he said.

“When I hung up the phone, I must have walked around my kitchen table 10 times holding that ticket and just looking at it.”

Crump called Donald first and then the rest of his family members. “When I called the rest of the family to tell them what happened, I got a lot of ‘uh-huhs,’ and ‘yeah, right’ thrown back at me,” he said. “Still, I did convince them to come over that afternoon.”

Crump and Donald took the ticket to the safe deposit box at the bank.

The three brothers are retired. Ronald is a former postal worker in Billings, Montana. Kenneth Crump retired from the Texas Department of Highways. Donald is also retired.

Since the drawing, word has gotten out in Amarillo that the claimants are indeed holding the ticket for the January 9 Mega Millions drawing.

One popular rumor pointed to a local TV weatherman as the claimant. According to several sources, that weatherman had to state on the air that he was not the claimant.

As far as the plans that members of the partnership have for their winnings, Clara knew right away what they would do. “This is for our kids and grand-kids,” she said. “Now they won’t have to struggle to go to college. “We plan to help our church, too.”

“The proceeds from the Texas Lottery benefit our state’s public schools, so it is always rewarding to hear our winners tell us that the first thing they plan to do is ensure the educational futures of their children and grandchildren,” said Texas Lottery Commission Executive Director. “This Mega Millions win is the fourth and largest-ever for Texas since we joined the game in December, 2003.”

There is one other thing that all the partnership members plan to do together to celebrate this win.

“There’s a plan to take a cruise next month, all of us,” Ronald Crump said. “It’ll be to the Caribbean.”
“I think all of us would like to visit new places, go to different countries in Europe, go to the Virgin Islands and Las Vegas, just see the world,” said Ronald Crump.

Dean Crump, son of the general partner, said he, unlike his father and two uncles, is not yet retired.
“I work for a software company in Amarillo,” he said. “I have a lot of people who depend on me and I can’t just walk away.”

Taylor Petro Co., Inc. #80, 3400 Coulter Drive in Amarillo is the store where Ronald Crump purchased two Quick Pick tickets. The retailer is eligible to receive a bonus of $1 million for having sold the ticket.

The numbers drawn were 7-11-26-38-54 Bonus 13.

Maintenance worker wins $163 million jackpot
Bainbridge man immediately retires

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/18/06

On Friday, Ben Chason was unplugging toilets and repairing window screens for the city of Bainbridge's public housing projects.

On Monday, the maintenance man was in downtown Atlanta picking up $66 million, courtesy of the Georgia Lottery.

"I'm retired," Chason told reporters when asked if he planned to keep working for the city housing authority in South Georgia.

By purchasing the winning $1 ticket on Thursday at a Stop N Buy in Bainbridge, Chason, 52, became the largest single winner in Georgia Lottery history.

He won the annuitized $163 million Mega Millions jackpot, a multi-state lottery. Chason chose the cash option payment of $95.4 million. After a roughly 31 percent cut of federal and state taxes, he will get about $66 million, said Georgia Lottery Corporation President and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco.

Chason, appearing at lottery headquarters dressed in blue jeans, a white button-down shirt and tan cowboy boots, seemed relaxed, but also overwhelmed by his sudden riches and the subsequent publicity.

"Oh boy," Chason exhaled as DeFrancisco handed over an oversized prop check for $95.4 million in front of a bank of television news cameras.

Chason stopped for gas Sunday morning and checked his ticket against the winning numbers. He had bought a Quik Pik ticket, which chooses the number combination at random. He usually buys two tickets a week, he said.

"I just froze," Chason recalled when he realized the numbers matched. He told the store clerk, "I believe I won the lottery. And he stuck it in the machine and said, 'Yeah, you did!' I've been in a daze ever since."

Chason said he didn't have any immediate plans for the money. He knows he wants to buy some land, and build a home on it. He said he also wants to take care of his family and his longtime companion Diane Reynolds. Chason said he also might help his nephew — a minister — build a church.

"I believe I'll still be the same," Chason said. He later added, "I really haven't thought about it. It hasn't sunk in. When I make that first withdrawal, then it'll sink in."

The couple drove to Atlanta from Bainbridge on Sunday in Reynold's Kia Optima; Chason drives a 1983 Ford F-250 pickup truck.

"He's a big deer hunter, so I thought he had just killed a big buck," Reynolds said about the excited call she got from Chason on Sunday morning.

"It was a big buck," Chason deadpanned in a Southern drawl.

Until Chason, the largest single winner in Georgia Lottery history was Stephen Moore of Fitzgerald. Moore won $150 million in a Mega Millions jackpot in 2003. Of the 54 Mega Million jackpot winners, seven have come from Georgia. Twelve states participate in the Mega Millions drawing.


Message from Dawn Nettles - The Lotto Report - Mr. Chason didn't really collect his money today. It takes the lottery a minimum of 5 days to fund. I've heard from some winners who had to wait 2 weeks to 30 days before the lottery funded their winnings.

Big winner in Mega Millions lottery is keeping low profile

New Brunswick man hits a $26M jackpot
Saturday, June 10, 2006


A New Brunswick man last night claimed the $47 million Mega Million jackpot win June 2, 2006 -- but he's playing it cool.

Very little information was revealed yesterday about Raynald Holder by the New Jersey Lottery Commission that quietly e-mailed the announcement late in the business day.

Holder's lawyer said that was all by design.

"He's trying to keep low profile," said Brian Selvin. "He doesn't wish to have any publicity, because he does not want to deal with people he does not know who might call."

Holder did release a brief statement with the commission's announcement calling himself "very fortunate and blessed." He said he plans to use the money to help his extended family.

"I'm very happy that I will be able to help my nephews with their college plans, and take care of a number of things," he said. "I've always wanted to take care of my family."

Holder contacted the lottery commission Monday to claim his prize. With the cash option, he will receive $26,689,373 before the 25 percent federal withholding tax, for the ticket purchased at a Krauszer's Food Store on Bayard Street.

According to the lottery statement, Holder selected the numbers himself -- family birthdays -- as opposed to letting the machine pick them automatically. They were 3, 10, 18, 36, 38, with the Mega Ball number 41.

Selvin said his client is an unmarried blue-collar worker who played the lottery regularly, but "not in large amounts."

At Krauszer's a large yellow sign announced last night it is the place of a Mega Millions win. Owner Atul Tijoriwala had nothing but praise for Holder, who he said played Mega Millions three to four times a week.

"This guy is very, very good," he said. "He made my store proud. He made me proud."

Holder's win is the 14th largest single-ticket win in the New Jersey Lottery's 35-year history, according to the lottery commission.

Harold and Helen Lerner of Rutherford, in Bergen County, won the state's largest prize ever in September, when they took $258 million in the multi-state Mega Millions.

Lubbock Group Collects $20.9 Million (Gross)

June 9, 2006 - A prophetic dream, complete with numbers, led the members of the LGroup Managed Trust of Lubbock all the way to Austin to claim a Cash Value Option Lotto Texas jackpot prize in the amount of $15,693,986 after MINIMUM taxes were deducted. The jackpot was advertised at $36 million.

Lubbock attorney J. Phillip Hays is the trustee.

Cindy Skidmore, a member of the group, said a dream she had last October inspired her to play the numbers - 44-31-5-10-7-28. “I saw those numbers and I knew if I didn’t get up and write them down I would forget them,” Skidmore said. “So, these are numbers I have played since then.”

On the night of April 30, almost all the members of the group were at home watching the popular Sunday night show, Grey’s Anatomy, when the TV station put up a teaser before the news mentioning that a Lotto Texas ticket that matched the numbers drawn the previous night had been sold in Lubbock.

“I recognized the numbers right away and woke up my husband to tell him, ‘I think we’re millionaires,’” Skidmore said. “He asked me how I knew and I told him I saw my numbers. Then I got on the phone.”

“I answered the phone by asking, ‘Did we win?’” said LGroup Managed Trust member Sharla Pierce. The Lubbock phone lines were really burning up that night, as group members continued to call each other.

Estella Barron, another group member, got on the phone and wasn’t sure what Skidmore was telling her about winning. Her question was, “Won what?” The only member of the group who got any sleep that night was Brenda Mitchell because nobody had her phone number.
“I didn’t know until Monday when I checked the numbers on my computer,” Mitchell said. “I started screaming.

Almost every member of the group already has some idea of what she will do with her share of the prize money.

Gina Schultz said she’s going to indulge herself in an extravagance she’s always wanted. “I’m going to let a personal shopper do some clothes shopping for me in Dallas,” she said. “The rest I’m going to save and invest.”

Cindy Skidmore is going to Hawaii. “This trip is really for my brother, who died last December,” she said. “I’m going to spread his ashes in Maui.”

Sharla Pierce no longer has to work two jobs. Now she’s got time to concentrate on the one thing she wants to purchase for her family. “I’m buying a new house,” she said. “This will give our family lots more room than we have now. I also plan to save for my kids’ college educations.”

Estella Barron plans to buy something for her husband. “He’s getting a new pick-up truck,” she said. “I’m also going to spend a lot more time with my eight-pack, my grandchildren. That’s the best for me.”

Brenda Mitchell, who is considered the lucky charm of the group by the other members because she won a Mini-Cooper convertible car from the inside of the cap of a 20-ounce soda bottle, is already planning a trip. “I’m going to Las Vegas,” Mitchell said. “I love Vegas!”
A sixth woman who also shares in the win, chose not to attend the formal prize presentation and news conference.

The winning ticket was purchased at the 7-Eleven #423, located at 3402 98th Street in Lubbock. For selling the winning ticket, the store is eligible to receive a bonus of one percent of the jackpot. That amount is approximately $362,000.

Another woman who claims she was part of the jackpot pool is still awaiting word on her lawsuit filed on May 19 in Travis County. The lawsuit has been postponed, according to media reports.
Betty Domingo claims in her lawsuit that she is due $2.9 million but was excluded from the winnings.

A restraining order issued by a judge on May 19 preventing the Texas Lottery Commission from distributing the jackpot expired on June 2, according to court documents. Domingo's Austin attorney, Arthur Walker Jr., declined to comment on the case.

Houston Trust Claims Last Lotto Texas Jackpot Under Old Playstyle
May 18, 2006 - The AB Revocable Living Trust today claimed $29.4 million from the Lotto texas drawing held on February 8, 2006. It was advertised at $64 million.

The Quick Pick ticket was the last ticket to match all numbers from the previous Lotto Texas play style in which players chose five numbers and a Bonus Ball. The ticket was purchased with the Cash Value Option, which paid $39 million, before taxes - $29,445,320 after MINIMUM taxes.

“I offer my congratulations to our latest Lotto Texas jackpot winner,” said Anthony J. Sadberry, acting executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission. “We still have one Lotto Texas jackpot ticket unclaimed as of today. The ticket sold in Lubbock, the first one to match all numbers for the current play style, has yet to be turned over to us for validation.”

The ticket purchased for the February jackpot was bought at the Shop & Save, located at 2626 Yale Street in Houston. The retail owner has received a bonus of $500,000 for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.

A representative of AB Revocable Living Trust has requested minimal publicity.

Other Winners Stories

- Sad but True Winners Stories - Click here

$214.7 Million Powerball Jackpot Won (Oct 2004) ... Click here to read stories

Massachusetts cleaning lady collects $117.6 million from advertised
$290 million Mega Millions jackpot, click here to read story.

Store Owners and Employees Admit Stealing $100,000 Powerball Ticket ...
Don't let this happen to you. Click here.

More Texas Winners Stories, Click Here

To Obtain Information on Texas Winners
Many winners set up trusts, partnerships and corporations
when they win the lotto. If you want more information
on the enity that claimed the jackpot, all you have to do
is make an open records request through the Comptrollers
office or the Secretary of State.

Secretary of State:
From the Secretary of State, request "copies of the
articles that have been filed" or a copy
of the "Corporate Detail Screen."
Phone: 512-463-5578; Fax: 512-463-5643
For General Questions Call
Corporate Info - 512-463-5555 - 512-463-5586
Email: corpinfo@sos.state.tx.us
Website: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/
Click the link on the left sidebar that says,
"Corporations and Other Business Organizations"

This is also where you can read the Texas Register.This is
the publication that TX state agencies use to post rule changes and
just all kinds of legal postings. Just click on "Texas Register" to

Comptroller of Public Accounts
From the Comptroller's office, request a copy of the
"PIR on file for (name of trust, llc, l.p. etc)"
P. O. Box 13528
Austin, Texas 78711
Office: 1-800-252-1381 Fax: 512-463-4288
Website: http://www.window.state.tx.us

The Lotto Report
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 686-0660
(972) 681-1048 (Fax)